Claremont Graduate University
Albrecht Auditorium at The Stauffer Hall of Learning
925 North Dartmouth Avenue • Claremont, California 91711
Big Data is everywhere. But can Big Data research and practice be harnessed to address pressing social conditions? We know we can use big data; the question is how and whether we most effectively use it.
The Transdisciplinary Studies Program presents a unique all-day university conference featuring scientists and humanists, researchers and practitioners, faculty and students, from across the schools and disciplines at CGU and beyond. Panelists and invited speakers will address the question of "Big Data, Better World?" from different intellectual and professional vantage points. Jack Dangermond, Founder and President of Esri Corporation will provide the keynote address. In conjunction with the symposium, a 1/2 day hands-on training workshop on Big Data Tools will be also conducted on November 22 in conjunction with IBM.
These events are part of a series of activities being organized by the Transdisciplinary Studies Program’s Big Data Initiative .
The conference is free and open to the public.
No registration is necessary to attend sessions.
Click HERE to register for the 1/2 Day IBM Big Data training (on November 22, 2014, space limited).
SPEAKERS AND PANELS
"Big Data and Transdisciplinarity at CGU"
Patrick Q. Mason is Co-Director of the Transdisciplinary Studies Program at Claremont Graduate University. He is an Associate Professor of Religion and holds the Howard W. Hunter Chair of Mormon Studies, and also serves as chair of the Religion Department. Mason is the author of The Mormon Menace: Violence and Anti-Mormonism in the Postbellum South, and co-editor of War and Peace in Our Time: Mormon Perspectives. With graduate degrees in American history and international peace studies, he pursues a research agenda focused on American religion, Mormon studies, and religion, conflict, and peacebuilding.
Big Data and the Humanities Panel
Stephen M. Robertson
"Collecting Grains of Sand: Big Data and the History of Ordinary Individuals"
Stephen Robertson is Director of the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media, and Professor in the Department of History and Art History, at George Mason University. He is author of Crimes against Children: Sexual Violence and Legal Culture in New York City, 1880-1960, co-author of Playing the Numbers: Gambling in Harlem Between the Wars, and one of the creators of the web site, Digital Harlem, which won the American Historical Association’s inaugural Rosenzweig Prize for Innovation in Digital History and the American Library Association’s ABC-CLIO Digital History Prize. Robertson is currently completing a project on undercover investigators in American life from the Civil War to WW2, and, with Shane White and Stephen Garton, working on a spatial history of the 1935 Harlem riot.
"Engaging Data: Feminism and "Quant Life"
Jacque Wernimont is an assistant professor of early modern literature and digital humanities at Arizona State University. Dr. Wernimont is an affiliate of the Arizona Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies and the Nexus Lab for Digital Humanities and Transdisciplinary Informatics. Jacque holds a BA from the University of Iowa and an MA and PhD from Brown University. She has two projects currently underway, a monograph on early modern literature and science titled Writing Early Modern Worlds and a digital project titled Counting the Dead, which explores relationships between enumerative and narrative commemorative technologies.
“Living with Data: Big Data at Human Scale”
Sara M. Watson is a technology critic and a Fellow at the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University. Her work explores how people are learning to live with, understand, and interpret data. Sara is interested in the interactions between users, data and algorithms, and the internet platforms that mediate and govern digital experiences. She aims to uncover the ways that corporations, governments, and individuals use data from wearable sensors, the internet of things, and other digitally processed systems. And she examines and influences public discourse on technological change in popular culture. Sara’s writing has appeared in The Atlantic, Al Jazeera America, Wired, Harvard Business Review, and Slate. Sara holds an MSc in the Social Science of the Internet with distinction from the Oxford Internet Institute. She graduated from Harvard College magna cum laude with a joint degree in English and American Literature and Film Studies. Her disciplinary influences include media studies, science and technology studies, anthropology, and literature.
CGU Students and Alumni in Action Panel
“Sentiment Analysis for Business: A Student Case Study”
Sean Bjurstrom received bachelors’ degrees in business information systems, accounting, and business administration with a focus in international business from Oregon State University. After graduation, he spent several years working for a nonprofit providing support in their accounting and information technology departments. This work triggered his interest in data mining, particularly its application in healthcare. The combination of coursework in data mining and health information systems drew him to Claremont Graduate University, where he is currently working on a master’s degree in Information Systems and Technology with a focus in data mining.
"Mapping the Foreign World Using the American Missionary Press"
David Golding is a PhD candidate in the History of Christianity and is finishing a dissertation titled “Superstitions of the Heathen: Foreign Missions and the Fashioning of American Exceptionalism.” Golding received his B.A. in European Studies from Brigham Young University and his M.A. in Religious Studies, History of Christianity from CGU. When not doing historical work, he enjoys programming software and building web applications.
"Computational Thinking and Big Data"
Barbara Usher has over 25 years of experience implementing enterprise information systems in large global organizations. She is a Senior Program Manager at Google in the Corporate Engineering group which is responsible for developing world-leading technology and software that is used internally at Google. Prior to Google she was a consultant with Price Waterhouse Coopers and played key roles in several large scale, global implementations ranging from startups to Fortune 500 companies. Barbara received a Ph.D. and MS degree in Information Systems from Claremont Graduate University and a BA in Business Administration from Mount St. Mary’s College.
Dr. Deanna Needell
“Less is More: Compressed Sensing for Imaging and Big Data”
Dr. Deanna Needell is an Assistant Professor in the Mathematical Sciences department at Claremont McKenna College. Prior to this, she spent 2009-2011 as a postdoctoral fellow in the Mathematics and Statistics departments at Stanford University. She received her B.S. in Mathematics and Computer Science from the University of Nevada and her M.A. and Ph.D. in Mathematics from the University of California, Davis. Her research interests include Compressed Sensing, Randomized Algorithms, Functional Analysis, Computational Mathematics, Probability, and Statistics. Prof. Needell has been the recipient of awards including the Simons Foundation Collaboration grant, 2012 IEEE Signal Processing Society Young Author Best Paper Award, ScienceWatch Fast-Breaking paper award, Nevada Alumni of the Year Award, ICERM Research fellowship, the Alfred P. Sloan Fellowship, and an NSF CAREER award.
CGU Faculty Tackling Big Social Problems
Dr. Paul Zak
“Why We Cry at Movies: Using Neurologic Data to Change Behavior”
Paul J. Zak is a scientist, prolific author, and public speaker. His book The Moral Molecule: The Source of Love and Prosperity (2012) was a finalist for the Wellcome Trust Book Prize. He is the founding Director of the Center for Neuroeconomics Studies and Professor of Economics, Psychology and Management at Claremont Graduate University. Dr. Zak also serves as Professor of Neurology at Loma Linda University Medical Center. He has degrees in mathematics and economics from San Diego State University, a Ph.D. in economics from University of Pennsylvania, and post-doctoral training in neuroimaging from Harvard. He is credited with the first published use of the term "neuroeconomics" and has been a vanguard in this new discipline. Dr. Zak's lab discovered in 2004 that the brain chemical oxytocin allows us to determine who to trust. His current research has shown that oxytocin is responsible for virtuous behaviors, working as the brain's "moral molecule." This knowledge is being used to understand the basis for civilization and modern economies, improve negotiations, and treat patients with neurologic and psychiatric disorders.
Dr. Jean Schroedel
“Big Data and the Problem of Marginalized Populations.”
Jean Reith Schroedel is a political science professor at Claremont Graduate University in California. She has written three single authored academic books, including Is the Fetus Person? A Comparison of Policies Across the Fifty States that was given the Victoria Schuck Book Award by the American Political Science Association in 2001, as well as more than 40 scholarly articles and book chapters. In 2009 Schroedel co-edited two books on the impact of evangelical Christianity on democracy in America for the Russell Sage Foundation. She has spent much of the past several years studying voting rights issues and written a monograph entitled, “Vote Dilution and Suppression in Indian Country” that is being published later this year in Studies in American Political Development. Schroedel also served as an expert witness in the recently settled Wandering Medicine v. McCulloch voting rights case that resulted in major changes in the administration of elections on Indian reservations in Montana and helped spark changes in several other states.
Dr. Cecilia Rios-Aguilar
“Using Big (and Critical) Data to Unmask Inequities in Community Colleges”
Dr. Cecilia Rios-Aguilar is an Associate Professor of Education at the School of Educational Studies at Claremont Graduate University. Dr. Rios-Aguilar’s research is multidisciplinary and uses a variety of conceptual frameworks—funds of knowledge and the forms of capital—and of statistical approaches—regression analysis, multilevel models, GIS, and social network analysis—to study the educational and occupational trajectories of under-represented minorities, including Latina/os, English learners, low-income, first-generation, and immigrant students. Most recently, Dr. Rios-Aguilar and her colleague Dr. Regina Deil-Amen, received funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to conduct the first study to assess the effectiveness of social media as a tool to increase community college students’ success. Dr. Rios-Aguilar currently serves as an Associate Editor of the Journal of Higher Education, and as a member of the Editorial Board of the American Educational Research Journal.
Dr. Hal Nelson
“Using Big Data to Simulate Social Sustainability: GIS and Agent-Based Modeling of Energy Infrastructure Projects”
Dr. Hal Nelson is a Research Associate Professor in Division of Politics and Economics at Claremont Graduate University
Dr. Nelson’s goal is to develop practical solutions to complex social, environmental, political, and economic problems. His research focuses on stakeholder participation and facilitation, simulation modeling, and economic analysis. Nelson is a principal in the development of Infrastructure Siting (In-Site) Software, a decision support system that simulates citizen and stakeholder opposition to new energy facilities using GIS, agent-based modeling, and game theory. The software provides decision makers with strategic guidance on building stakeholder consensus to improve both sustainability outcomes and operational efficiencies. Dr. Nelson has publications appearing in Energy Policy, The Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation, Land Use Policy, Journal of Public Policy, The Journal of Policy Studies, The Journal of Environment and Development, The Journal of Environmental Planning and Management and other top journals.
“Mapping a Better World”
Jack Dangermond has more than 40 years of experience in geographic information system (GIS) software, a technology for managing, analyzing, and sharing location-based information for better decision making. He is founder and president of Environmental Systems Research Institute, Inc. (ESRI), the world’s fourth largest privately held software company. Founded in 1969 and headquartered in Redlands, California, ESRI is widely recognized as the technical and market leader in GIS, pioneering innovative solutions for working with spatial data on the desktop, across the enterprise, in the field, and on the Web.
Mr. Dangermond is recognized not only as a pioneer in spatial analysis methods but also as one of the most influential people in GIS. He actively manages ESRI and is closely connected to projects, clients, and company vision. He takes a leadership role in national and global initiatives to facilitate standards for data access and sharing across agencies and organizations. He is personally committed to applying GIS methods for environmental stewardship and sustainable communities.
Dangermond graduated with a BS in landscape architecture from California State Polytechnic University, Pomona. He holds a master of architecture degree, with a focus on landscape architecture and urban planning, from the Institute of Technology at the University of Minnesota and a Master of Science degree in landscape architecture from the Graduate School of Design, Harvard University, where he worked in the Laboratory for Computer Graphics and Spatial Design. Mr. Dangermond received an honory degree from Claremont Graduate University in 2012.
Dangermond holds honorary doctorates from multiple universities and is the recipient of numerous fellowships, grants, and awards, including the 2002 Distinguished Public Service Award from the Secretary's Open Forum of the US Department of State for outstanding contributions to national and international affairs.
Geospatial Analysis Panel
“Can Big Data Improve Justice?”
Professor Heather E. Campbell earned her PhD in Public Policy Analysis at Carnegie Mellon University’s Heinz School, and a BA in Political Science at UC San Diego’s Revelle College. She is serving as Chair of the Division of Politics and Economics in the School of Social Science, Policy & Evaluation at the Claremont Graduate University, where she teaches policy analysis and statistics. Dr. Campbell is coauthor, with Dr. Elizabeth Corley, of Urban Environmental Policy Analysis (2012), which is unusual in taking a policy (rather than planning) approach to urban issues. Her current research focuses on urban environmental justice (EJ). In concert with Dr. Yushim Kim and Dr. Adam Eckerd, she approaches EJ from a system perspective, using the insight that environmental justice, or its lack, emerges from the nonlinear dynamics of the complex urban system. Their book, Rethinking Environmental Justice in Sustainable Cities: Insights from Agent-Based Modeling, is forthcoming in 2015. In addition, she has cowritten funded research reports on topics as varied as water conservation, racial profiling, and schooling of poor and minority children.
“The Internet of Everything, Big Data, Location, and the Future”
Brian Hilton received his Ph.D. and M.S. in Management Information Systems from Claremont Graduate University, School of Information Science, and his B.A. in Economics from the Richard Stockton College of New Jersey. His current research interests lie in spatial information system development, spatial analysis, and the use of emerging technologies in information system development. Dr. Hilton has presented his GIS-related work at the White House, has published in several journals including the ISPRS International Journal of Geo-Information and Information Visualization, and edited the book “Emerging Spatial Information Systems and Applications.” Dr. Hilton is a Clinical Associate Professor in the Center for Information Systems and Technology (CISAT) at Claremont Graduate University and is Director of the Advanced GIS Lab.
“Emerging Business Applications of Big Data and GIS”
Dean Larry Crosby earned his bachelor’s degree, an MBA, and a doctoral degree in business administration from the University of Michigan. Crosby is the Henry Y. Hwang dean of Claremont Graduate University's Peter F. Drucker and Masatoshi Ito Graduate School of Management. Crosby is an internationally acknowledged expert on the measurement and management of customer relationships. In 1996, Crosby founded and served as chairman and CEO for Symmetric Marketing Corporation, a customer loyalty research and consulting business in Scottsdale, Arizona. In 2004, he sold the company to Synovate, a global market research company, where he continued to serve as chief loyalty architect of the Customer Experience Practice. Beyond his business career, he served on the faculty at Arizona State University, the University of Michigan and the University of Nebraska. Crosby’s work has been published in a variety of academic and professional journals. Focusing on measures, models and management principles, his innovative practices in the field of customer relations have been adopted by a global following of Fortune 500 companies.
“Moving the Transdisciplinary Agenda Ahead”
“Big Data and CGU’s Commitment to Humanities”
Patricia Easton is Professor of Philosophy and the Co-director of the Transdisciplinary Program at CGU. Easton received her B.A. in Psychology and Philosophy from Glendon College, York University, and her M.A. and Ph.D. in philosophy from the University of Western Ontario. She specializes in the history of modern philosophy, particularly the philosophy of René Descartes and the Cartesians of the seventeenth century. Her interests also include the philosophy of mind, the history of science, and the history of philosophy. Her current research examines the role of mechanization in developments in medicine and psychology in early modern science.
“Transdisciplinary Science: Big Data Meets Big Ideas”
Dr. Thomas A. Horan is Professor and Director, Center for Information Systems and Technology, Claremont Graduate University (CGU). Dr. Horan has approximately 25 years of experience in designing, testing, and assessing major innovations. These innovations have involved cloud-based, geo-spatial, and mobile applications in health, transportation, and education sectors. Dr. Horan’s work has been featured at the US White House and his research has been sponsored by numerous organizations, including the US Department of Transportation, California HealthCare Foundation, Blue Shield Foundation, US Social Security Administration, National Science Foundation, United Nations Development Corporation, Mayo Clinic, Kay Family Foundation, and Getty Leadership Institute. He has over 130 publications, including in major journals such as Transportation Research Record, Management Information Systems Quarterly, Visual Information Systems, and Communications of the ACM. Dr. Horan has been a Visiting Scholar at Harvard University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, University of Hawaii, and University of Minnesota. He has also served in numerous advisory positions in the US, Middle East, and Asia. Dr. Horan has his masters and doctoral degrees from Claremont Graduate University.